Time out. Fuck you. I can’t say that to mom, but I think it. I mean, I could say it to her, I’d regret it for sure. Her question is performative; she doesn’t read my writing.
“It’s going fine,” I say before shoveling a spoonful of peas into my mouth. It’s a stock response, one I use when the book isn’t going fine or when I don’t want to get into details — or both, as in this instance. I took this break, visited my parents for the first time in five years to get away from the abysmal progress of my novel, not have to talk about it.